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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5

    Default Hairline cracks on a 7 yo stuccom sidings

    It must be the most popular issue with sidings, or so it seems from my perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Hi Inna,
    Good luck with your prospective home purchase. I am curious, your post says you are waiting for the stucco professional to evaluate and quote. Is this home being inspected by an inspector or by a contractor?
    By the way, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

    Hello All and thank you Steven!

    Briefly of the reasons I joined this forum - we are in a contract to buy a house. It's a 7 yo nice house, with little to no problems with the interior (some GFCI have to be replaced, windows recaulked, etc.).

    We had an inspection done last Friday and were pointed out that stucco sidings had multiple hairline cracks and were in need of professional attention. A contractor we contacted checked it out today and got back to us with an estimate. Per his evaluation, this stucco was not allowed enough time to cure between coats and suggested to "install California Stucco’s Texture Flex finish coat which is an Elastomeric finish that will fix the cracks".

    The contractor has a very good reputation and I hope his suggested remedy works. Thanks to all the posting and pictures on this issue, I now have some idea of the causes, symptoms, long-term effects of this seemingly small problem.

    Since we are in a contract, we are trying to work it out with the seller. Apparently seller was not aware of this problem when bought the house couple of years ago. Seller is planning to get an estimate on this, too.

    Here comes the question - I'm not asking for evaluation, just a suggestion - what are other possible ways to fix it?

    I believe we'll get some offer from the seller and I would prefer to make an informed decision.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Hairline cracks on a 7 yo stuccom sidings

    Quote Originally Posted by Inna L View Post
    It must be the most popular issue with sidings, or so it seems from my perspective...




    Hello All and thank you Steven!

    Briefly of the reasons I joined this forum - we are in a contract to buy a house. It's a 7 yo nice house, with little to no problems with the interior (some GFCI have to be replaced, windows recaulked, etc.).

    We had an inspection done last Friday and were pointed out that stucco sidings had multiple hairline cracks and were in need of professional attention. A contractor we contacted checked it out today and got back to us with an estimate. Per his evaluation, this stucco was not allowed enough time to cure between coats and suggested to "install California Stucco’s Texture Flex finish coat which is an Elastomeric finish that will fix the cracks".

    The contractor has a very good reputation and I hope his suggested remedy works. Thanks to all the posting and pictures on this issue, I now have some idea of the causes, symptoms, long-term effects of this seemingly small problem.

    Since we are in a contract, we are trying to work it out with the seller. Apparently seller was not aware of this problem when bought the house couple of years ago. Seller is planning to get an estimate on this, too.

    Here comes the question - I'm not asking for evaluation, just a suggestion - what are other possible ways to fix it?

    I believe we'll get some offer from the seller and I would prefer to make an informed decision.
    Sometimes elastomeric finishes are appropriate, and many times not. Without complete information there is no one size fits all answer. How big are the cracks? How is the internal moisture barrier? Is there any damage beneath the surface? is the existing stucco secure to the building? etc.

    Before you can determine how to fix something you must find out all of this plus more.

    You also mentioned caulking. If the windows are not/were not caulked properly there can be more damage than meets the eyes.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Hairline cracks on a 7 yo stuccom sidings

    Quote Originally Posted by Inna L View Post
    "install California Stucco’s Texture Flex finish coat which is an Elastomeric finish that will fix the cracks".
    I went to their web site at: Application , and I do not have any problems with their main tabs, but when I try to click on their products (tried on several different pages) I come up with a "fatal error" - anyone else getting that?

    Additionally, their drawings on their stucco application are incorrect and makes me suspect of their installation, work, products, and ... well, everything the do ...

    Their drawing shows the following:
    - sound substrate (this is good)
    - moisture barrier (this is good)
    -
    - self-furring galvanized wire mesh (this is good)

    What is not good is what is missing and not shown, what I left the blank space for, it should be like this:
    - sound substrate (this is good)
    - moisture barrier (this is good)
    - moisture barrier serving as a bond breaker (two layers are required, the first layer is applied over the sound substrate and can be something like 'house wrap', and they make a special 'house wrap' for stucco which provides drainage plane grooves when installed properly, the second layer is over the first layer is serves as a bond breaker between the stucco and the moisture barrier drainage plane - without the second layer bond breaker the stucco can bond to the first layer and the drainage plane no longer exists as it should)
    - self-furring galvanized wire mesh (this is good)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Hairline cracks on a 7 yo stucco sidings

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Sometimes elastomeric finishes are appropriate, and many times not. Without complete information there is no one size fits all answer. How big are the cracks? How is the internal moisture barrier? Is there any damage beneath the surface? is the existing stucco secure to the building? etc.

    Before you can determine how to fix something you must find out all of this plus more.

    You also mentioned caulking. If the windows are not/were not caulked properly there can be more damage than meets the eyes.
    The cracks are really thin, one has to get very close to the wall to see them. Both, our home inspector and contractor, believe that there shouldn't be any water damage.

    There is a need for some caulking insde the house, nothing major, just touch-ups.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Hairline cracks on a 7 yo stuccomsidings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I went to their web site at: Application , and I do not have any problems with their main tabs, but when I try to click on their products (tried on several different pages) I come up with a "fatal error" - anyone else getting that?

    Additionally, their drawings on their stucco application are incorrect and makes me suspect of their installation, work, products, and ... well, everything the do ...
    Hopefully, their products are better that their website (I'm actually having some trouble on this site, I cannot see the topic name when I'm posing so the topic name is messed up) The work would be done by a local contractor.

    What is not good is what is missing and not shown, what I left the blank space for, it should be like this:
    - sound substrate (this is good)
    - moisture barrier (this is good)
    - moisture barrier serving as a bond breaker
    ...
    Thank you so much for you analysis Jerry! I will inquire the contractor about missing installation component. I guess I should be getting an estimate from some other company too.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Hairline cracks on a 7 yo stucco sidings

    Quote Originally Posted by Inna L View Post
    The cracks are really thin, one has to get very close to the wall to see them. Both, our home inspector and contractor, believe that there shouldn't be any water damage.

    There is a need for some caulking insde the house, nothing major, just touch-ups.
    OK, it sounds like you have a plan, and if that is all it is, applying a liquid moisture barrier can be a great fix. When appropriate, I am an advocate of applied finishes and alternative solutions.

    So now that you have gotten this far, start thinking about your caulking (sealants). It is sooooo important. There is an art to applying sealant and when done correctly is time consuming. Besides effecting the performance and longevity of the system, it also has an impact on the buildings appearance. It is crucial that the locations be prepared properly, the correct material be used and it be tooled correctly and diligently.

    Good luck to you.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 05-10-2013 at 10:31 AM.
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Hairline cracks on a 7 yo stuccom sidings

    Quote Originally Posted by Inna L View Post
    It must be the most popular issue with sidings, or so it seems from my perspective...




    Hello All and thank you Steven!

    Briefly of the reasons I joined this forum - we are in a contract to buy a house. It's a 7 yo nice house, with little to no problems with the interior (some GFCI have to be replaced, windows recaulked, etc.).

    We had an inspection done last Friday and were pointed out that stucco sidings had multiple hairline cracks and were in need of professional attention. A contractor we contacted checked it out today and got back to us with an estimate. Per his evaluation, this stucco was not allowed enough time to cure between coats and suggested to "install California Stucco’s Texture Flex finish coat which is an Elastomeric finish that will fix the cracks".

    The contractor has a very good reputation and I hope his suggested remedy works. Thanks to all the posting and pictures on this issue, I now have some idea of the causes, symptoms, long-term effects of this seemingly small problem.

    Since we are in a contract, we are trying to work it out with the seller. Apparently seller was not aware of this problem when bought the house couple of years ago. Seller is planning to get an estimate on this, too.

    Here comes the question - I'm not asking for evaluation, just a suggestion - what are other possible ways to fix it?

    I believe we'll get some offer from the seller and I would prefer to make an informed decision.
    The hairline cracks may not be a big concern, but what about all the other details? Unless the installation looks just about perfect, I would consider moisture testing. Since I never see a stucco installation on houses of that age, and since I see many stucco horror stories first hand, I am at the point where I would almost never not recommend moisture testing.

    If there is significant damage coatings and caulk will not help. I recently consulted on a case with a four year old house. They "fixed" some water penetration issues with an elastomeric coating and caulk. I think it helped to trap water in the walls. The house had extensive damage and was like a greenhouse inside.


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